how to put a bike tire back on the rim

How to Put a Bike Tire Back on the Rim in 3 Simple Steps

How to put a bike tire back on the rim – Getting a puncture while cycling is one of the most frustrating and difficult things to deal with when cycling, and it can often put a huge downer on your experience, as well as potentially making you late.

While the entire process of dealing with a flat can be awkward and stressful, there is one aspect of this process that can be more troublesome than all the rest.

This is the process of actually putting the tire back onto the wheel rim, and many cyclists often find themselves wrestling with this issue for a ridiculously long time, often getting filthy dirty, and infuriated in the process.

Experienced cyclists will have dealt with this issue at least once in their lifetime, and most cyclists will have all sorts of secret tips and tricks to make this process a little less painful, but for beginners, it can often seem like a Herculean feat, especially in wet, cold and muddy conditions.

In this guide, we’re going to take you through the process of mounting the tire on your wheel step by step to help you find the most efficient and effective way to get back on track.

But first, let’s look at why putting a bike tire back on is so difficult.

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Why Is Putting A Bike Tire Back On So Difficult?

Solving any sort of problem often requires a sound understanding of what is actually causing the problem. So before we start on how to best get your tire back into place, let’s first look at the reasons why a tire can sometimes feel like it simply won’t fit back onto your wheel rim.

The first thing to note is that the tire wall of most bike wheels has a steel or kevlar bead at the bottom which helps give the tire structure and keeps the tire secure on the rim when the inner tube is inflated.

The bead is crucial for keeping everything in place over many miles of tough riding, which means they need to be strong and sturdy.

Cheaper tire beads are often made of steel, but more expensive ones are made of kevlar which is both light and strong.

This also makes working with the bead difficult, and its design makes fitting it back over the wheel a very tight squeeze.

This can be made worse by cold conditions, as the bead may be less pliable and may even have shrunk slightly, while in muddy conditions it can be really hard to get a good grip of everything and put it all back in place.

This is why using the correct technique is so important.

So let’s take a look at how to put a bike tire back on, so you don’t end up with sore fingers, or a sore temper

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How to Put A Bike Tire Back On

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Start On One Side

First, you need to get some of the bead into place on one side of the wheel, and the best place to start is by putting the air valve of the inner tube into the wheel and using this to hold the tube in place while you position the tire.

Next, line up the rim up with the tire and push it into place around one side of the wheel, ideally near to the valve.

When putting the tire back on ensure you’ve got the treads facing the correct direction by using the arrows on the sidewall, as getting this wrong will mean you need to take the wheel off and start again which can be soul-destroying.

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Work the bead into place 

Continue to work the bead around the rim of the wheel, pushing it up over the rim and allowing it to settle into place on the inside of the rim. As you get more of the bead into place and work your way around the wheel you’ll notice that the bead becomes tighter and harder to work into place over the rim. 

From here you have two options.

Your first option is to use a little extra force to work and jiggle the bead up over the rim and into place. This is the best option as it prevents causing any new puncture from occurring.

If however you’re really struggling to get the bead into place and it just doesn’t seem to want to go on, you can consider using a tire lever to work the bead up and over the rim.

This isn’t a great idea and should be avoided if possible as using a tire lever to put the tire bead into place can lead to pinching and cause a puncture in the inner tube, however, sometimes it’s the only option if your tire is refusing to go back into place.

Place the lever under the bead and inside the rim, trying to keep the lever away from the tube as much as possible. Then use the leverage to jack the bead up and over the rim, but do this as steadily and gently as possible to avoid damaging the inner tube, as this will mean you have to start from scratch and could leave you stranded if you don’t have another spare available!

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Check the Seal

Once the tire is back onto the wheel and the beads have been seated, work your way around the wheel and check that the bead isn’t pinching anything and that it’s in the correct position.

Next, put the retaining bolt back onto the air valve if you use one, and replace the dust cap onto the valve.

Put a little air into the tube and give the wheel a light pat the whole way around the tread to settle everything into place.

After this, you can pump up your tire the rest of the way and continue with your ride!

Final Thoughts

There you have it – everything you need to know about how to put a bike tire back on the rim. Follow the steps we’ve outlined below and not only will you have it done in next to no time, but you won’t have to worry about the expense of getting a bike repair shop to do it for you!

How to Put a Bike Tire Back on the Rim in 3 Simple Steps